The Sandlot always has and always will be near and dear to our hearts.
And as the sun begins to set on our licensing partnership with The Sandlot in the coming weeks—which means starting April 1, 2022, we'll no longer be selling any items from The Sandlot (and a few other RSVLTS Hall of Fame licenses)—we want to look back at the history of The Sandlot x RSVLTS and celebrate the adventure that will always be one of our favorites movies, collaborations, apparel launches, and overall crowning achievements since the very beginning.
Follow along the incredible journey below...
Back before RSVLTS was producing epic licensed apparel, we were a general interest website/blog that would produce lifestyle content surrounding many of the licenses that we have today. Naturally, one of our favorite topics at the time centered around all things Americana. When we did a survey called "The Most American Movies of All-Time" The Sandlot came out on top by a wide margin, so we decided it would be a great focus for new RSVLTS t-shirts we wanted to design. I am not sure what came first, the Wendy and The Beast button-down or the Wendy and The Beast t-shirts, but once those products hit the RSVLTS store online and we saw the customer reaction, we knew it was time to do more Sandlot!
Wendy and the Beast
The date was June 23, 2016 and we launched our first ever button-down shirts, Bomb Pops & Freedom and Wendy "Beauty" Peffercorn. Somehow NFL fashion icon, Travis Kelce, got his hands on Wendy and the Beast and wore it on "Mike & Mike" program. This was one of the first time a real star ever wore our stuff and it was a cool moment for the brand.
The Hambino Arrives
Wendy and our Interlocking USA hats were the clear cut winners of Summer 2016, so we decided to keep the good times rolling with another Sandlot design. Our Seton Hall buddy, Ben, worked on the design and when the first samples arrived the character on the shirt was a little.... jarring. Print quality has come a long way since then, but rather than rush out a scary looking design at the time, we reworked The Hambino pattern a bit in the moment, put it on a light green background and decided to hold it for spring 2017.
Mr. Aaron Judge Steps Up to the Plate
On June 11, 2017, Yankees stud outfielder Aaron Judge smashed the longest home run of the statcast era, and proceeded to casually wear RSVLTS Hambino shirt during his post game press conference. Uhhhhh, what?! Yup, it was a banner day and timeframe for the brand, until a few weeks later...
Ye Ol' Cease and Desist
Since it was the dinger that was heard and shown around the word, someone at the movie studio saw all the Aaron Judge footage, and a couple calls were made. A few weeks later a cease and desist was delivered to our doorstep, threatening to shut us down.
Instead...Let's Make It Official
Rather than totally kill the RSVLTS brand and current momentum, the studio recognized the creative vision of the company and decided to take a chance on us, and together we started the path to make The Sandlot x RSVLTS a legit collaboration. This was our first license and set us off on a new trajectory.
To kick-off the official The Sandlot x RSVLTS reboot, we partnered with the Scranton Yankees to host an experiential event and theme night. We got to meet actor Patrick Renna ("Ham") for the first time, and it was beyond cool to meet some RSVLTS Insiders that came out to celebrate, as this was our first ever big time event and somewhat an origin of a RSVLTS Meet-Up that featured an exclusive design.
A few months later, John and I continued to build more brand awareness and got to attend the Brooklyn Cyclones game again with Patrick Renna, which also helped us check off #9 on our Baseball Bucket List.
Visiting the original "Sandlot"
Furthermore, RSVLTS helped take over a random field in a Salt Lake City, Utah neighborhood (the thousands of guests had to walk through a guy's driveway and backyard to get into the field) with the full cast of The Sandlot (minus Mike Vitar a.k.a Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, who was helping battle the California wildfires). Thousands of fans turned up for the cast reunion at the original filming location of The Sandlot, which included a meet-and-greet, RSVLTS promos, an interactive panel discussion/Q&A session with the cast and a screening of the film.
The MLB Home Run Derby
As part of a fun, engaging digital scavenger hunt program idea, we took a few larger-than-life cardboard cut-outs of the Hambino and Squints into right field of the Home Run Derby at Nationals Park, and made it on ESPN more than dozens of times. Those that snapped a photo based on the TV coverage and tweeted it back to us got some fresh RSVLTS gear...can't wait to hopefully bring this back in 2022 at the ASG in LA!
Savannah Bananas Takeover
In the spring of 2021, during all the craziness that was happening during the pandemic (and while MLB was somewhat at stand-still), we took over a Savannah Bananas game with the Jomboy Media crew, and before the game we got to go on the field at historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, GA to do a photoshoot for our most recent Sandlot collection launch in 2021.
RSVLTS Hall of Fame
As it's once or twice been said: "heroes get remembered, legends never die"... right? So as we prepare to enter The Sandlot into the RSVLTS Hall of Fame of licenses, we've had so many great memories with the franchise over the years that we'll never forget. More to even list in this post.
What are we missing? What are your memories with The Sandlot? Let us know on Twitter and tag us in your photos rockin' your gear!